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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating and full meal on the gothic era, 23 April 2011
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rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cathedral Builders (Paperback)
This is the best book I read on the mysterious movement known as the gothic era, which has long fascinated me. It is written by an independent scholar with a quirky, yet erudite, point of view who writes very well, with the Cartesian clarity that we expect of French intellectuals.

I found it absolutely fascinating, as he explained the politics that gave rise to the astonishing building projects that involved entire communities for centuries and whose artisans are, with the exception of Villard, wholly unkown. Gimpel then goes through the crytic notebook of Villard - the only true record of the era's methods besides the works themselves - deciphering it for non-specialists like myself. In his view, built during a late-medieval economic boom, the cathedrals used a new kind of geometry and practical experimentation that foreshadowed the discoveries of the Renaissance. Some would even argue that the gothic cathedral architects and builders presaged the scientific method that emerged during the Enlightenment. Gimpel provides plenty of fodder for that interpretation.

Warmly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars French Gothic Architecture,Pointed Arches and Flying Buttresses and that's just Chartres Cathedral., 3 May 2014
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This review is from: The Cathedral Builders (Paperback)
A clear and concise account of the development of the stonemasons craft.The book is an ideal vehicle for the World's Pilgrims.
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The Cathedral Builders
The Cathedral Builders by Jean Gimpel (Paperback - April 1992)
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